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This AI reads children's emotions as they learn

February 17, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 44.2%. 2 min read.

A Hong Kong company has developed facial expression-reading AI that monitors students' emotions as they study. With many children currently learning from home, they say the technology could make the virtual classroom even better than the real thing.

An AI-powered learning platform monitors his students' emotions as they study at home.

While the use of emotion recognition AI in schools and other settings has caused concern, founder Viola Lam says it can make the virtual classroom as good as — or better than — the real thing.

While they study, the AI measures muscle points on their faces via the camera on their computer or tablet, and identifies emotions including happiness, sadness, anger, surprise and fear.

Facial expression recognition AI can identify emotions with human-level accuracy.

Students perform 10% better in exams if they have learned using 4 Little Trees, says Lam. Lam, a former teacher, recalls finding out that certain students were struggling only when they got their exam results — by which time "it's too late. "

Lam says the technology has been especially useful to teachers during the pandemic because it allows them to remotely monitor their students' emotions as they learn.

And, unlike teachers, the expression-reading AI can pay close attention to the emotions of every student, even in a large class.

Lam says 4 Little Trees records facial muscle data, which is how the AI interprets emotional expressions, but it does not video students' faces.

Pascale Fung, director of the Center for AI Research at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, says "transparency" is key to maintaining students' privacy.

Lam says she trains the AI with facial data that matches the demographics of the students.

Lam says Find Solution AI's emotion recognition works with 85% accuracy in Hong Kong.

Fung says algorithms with "very good settings" can correctly identify primary emotions, such as happiness and sadness, up to 90% of the time.

"We can hope for 60% [or] 70% accuracy," says Fung, adding that most people can't identify complex emotions with a greater level of accuracy.

Where human communication is concerned, AI "can help to facilitate a better interaction," she says.

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